As a guitarist who primarily uses electric guitar, it has always been important to me to find the right tone for the job, whether it's a subtle bit of distortion, or a fully effected signal for soaring leads.
Having used all of the freeware VST that I'm aware of, as well as demo versions of Amplitube, I can honestly say that there's no better value for your money than GMAII.
Though some may be puzzled at the choice of green for the interface, I find the entire colour scheme very easy on the eyes, and each section of the signal modification chain is separated from the next, making it easy to make or modify your own patches. Furthermore, I don't feel as though I'm being 'tricked' by real-world amp 'lookalike' GUIs.
The sound speaks for itself. I've used the plugin for all ranges of tones, from clean to sonic mayhem. My personal taste hovers more in the 'crunch' tones, and here it excels, delivering clarity with each note, without sacrificing aggressiveness and responsiveness. It's certainly possible to get a broader range of tones than the "Tube 50, Tube 100, or Solid State" (also, Brit/US modes) imply. Above all else, and one of the real selling points, is that this plugin is capable of smooth and realistic distortion at cleaner settings.
Feature-wise, it may not be bursting with hundreds of add-ons like other software in the same category, but the flexibility of the features that are offered give it huge value. Standards like chorus and delay are there, and you will also find an authentic-sounding wah, good cabinet sims, an interesting ADSR feature, a noise gate, and other features.
Documentation is clear, and covers every feature in an easy-to-understand way. I'd like to see more in-depth tutorials; for example, tips on how to build a massive wall of guitars sound, or other tone recipes for relative newcomers to amp sounds.
There aren't as many presets as I would normally like to see; however, it is rare that so many presets are actually usable 'right out of the box'. There's not a lot of redundancy, making the current somewhat weak roster more robust by virtue of variety and usability.
I haven't needed customer support, but Patrick was always quick and responsive in the beta phase, and he's easily found here at K-v-R.
Stability hasn't been an issue.
For overall value, I don't think this can be beat. Bassists have been taken into account, as well as other potential instruments (incl vocals), which make it usable for other applications. I can't think of any features that I actually "miss", and when I do decide to take my sound into strange new worlds, there are a wealth of free plugins that will take my sound elsewhere (odd filters, modulators, etc.). With the Green Machine Amp II, you have all your fundamentals covered, and then some.Read Review
This soft-amp has been modelled after the old Mesa Boogie tube-amps. This means that you can shape the distortion with the main EQ which is located BEFORE the tube stages in the signal path. This alone allows you to basically cover any sort of sound you wish. For further fine-tuning there is a second EQ after the tube stages. As I said, that's exactly the way those old Mesa amps were designed. And it's not an accident that so many players swear by this brand. Additionally, GreenMachine Amp II offers a second channel (the Brit mode), which is modelled after that famous British Amp-maker we all like so much. In Brit mode the second EQ stage is disabled as the main EQ is already located after the tube stages – just as it is the case with those British amps. But it's all about the sound, right? So, what does it offer in that regard? Now, this thing really has the tone. There has been so much ado about soft-amps recently – possibly because there were quite a few freshly released – but this one really deserves the cheers. The sound is precise and crisp. The amp responses wonderfully to your playing, which translates into a very dynamic sound. No muddy or squashed sound – no matter how much gain you dial in. The US mode (Mesa) offers a very wide field of possible sounds, perfect for all sorts of music styles. But my favourite channel is the Brit mode. Never before have I heard a guitar amp so punchy and yet so wonderfully precise.
In short, I really love that plug-in. You owe it to yourself that you go and download the demo.Read Review